5:1–6:14; 14:13–23), the revelation of the righteousness of God (1:17; cf. [3] There was not a single ἐκκλησία (‘gathering/church’) in Rome, but several separate gatherings of believers, perhaps five (cf. [68] The classic treatment of this theme is found in Stanley K. Stowers, The Diatribe and Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981). He writes a letter to the churches of Rome in advance of his visit. Paul has to argue his case in Romans, because his gospel has been opposed in the past, and quite possibly will be again. pp. Such prayerful solidarity with Paul should not only contribute to his success33 but also ensure a positive reception of Paul whatever transpires in Jerusalem. Apologetic rigour and pastoral sensitivity go together. He isn't, but again we have to look at it in the context in which it was written. [73] This is the customary meaning of the middle voice of this verb. While I’m not sure one is the main reason, I believe they are more of equal reasons. [34] It is not clear whether Paul omits πιστεύω in 14:2b to create a deliberate contrast with the manner in which the strong eat in 14:2a (viz. Of particular note are the rhetorical questions that Paul frequently asks (e.g. A. Crafton (‘Paul’s Rhetorical Vision and the Purpose of Romans: Toward a New Understanding’, NovT 32 [1990]: 327), notes that ‘in Spain Paul would encounter strong linguistic and cultural barriers for the first time’. The verb Paul uses here, προπέμπειν, speaks of the material assistance that a departing traveller would need for a journey, such as rations, logistics, protection and so on. Such a ministry was designed to make them obedient to the gospel and, thereby, to further gospel mission in Rome and further afield. But we have no evidence that the edict was the cause of problems in the churches of Rome. Both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish, I am obligated, so I am eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. also the phrase κατὰ Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν (‘according to Jesus Christ’) at the end of 15:5, which I think also refers to Christ’s example. In chapter 2, this resembles a classical diatribe, whereby Paul engages an interlocutor who represents a position against which Paul is arguing.68 Even where Paul is not directly addressing an imaginary opponent in this way, there is an argumentative cut and thrust throughout the main body of the letter, particularly apparent in chs. The former is Paul’s imminent arrival in Rome, en route to the virgin mission field that lay in the western reaches of the Empire, namely Spain (15:22–29). 398–425. I do not want you to be ignorant brothers, that I frequently purposed to come to you, and have been prevented until now, in order that I might have a certain fruit among you, just as also among the other nations. Tensions in the churches could have been exacerbated by the events surrounding the edict of Claudius in AD 49, which banished Jews from the city (reported by Suetonius, Claud. [71] See Stanley K. Stowers, ‘Paul’s Dialogue with a Fellow Jew in Romans 3:1–9’, CBQ 46 (1984): 709. The last of these in v. 7 asks, ‘If the truth of God by my lie abounded to his glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?’62 In other words, if God is glorified through my sinfulness (his truth acting in judgment to open up a way of salvation in Christ), then have I not done him a favour? [59] See further Wedderburn, Reasons for Romans, 102–4. First, the reason for sharing the spiritual gift—to strengthen the believers in Rome—is explicitly linked with Paul’s gospel in 16:25 in the closing doxology of the letter. Only in this way will they become an acceptable, sanctified offering to God (15:17). [13] See especially Robert Jewett, ‘Romans as an Ambassadorial Letter’, Int 36 (1982): 5–20. With respect to Paul’s introductory thanksgivings, Peter T. O’Brien (Introductory Thanksgivings in the Letters of Paul, NovTSup 49 [Leiden: Brill, 1977], 15) says, ‘We note in these periods an epistolary function, i.e. Such being the case with Paul as well led him to become a diehard & devoted promoter of the cause of Christianity. Third, in probing the relationships between the reasons for Romans, I aim to encourage students and preachers of this great letter to treat it as a unity, and to see the wood for all the theological trees that lie within. See Timmins, Romans 7 and Christian Identity, 119–35. James D. G. Dunn, Romans 1–8, WBC 38B (Dallas: Word, 1988), 130. ‘just as we are being slandered’ (καθὼς βλασφημούμεθα)—and the subsequent one in v. 9b—‘we have already charged’ (προῃτιασάμεθα). During the course of his stay in Rome, Paul became very well acquainted with the concepts & notions being propagated by the Church of Rome. His argument is worthy of close consideration, especially since the earliest extant manuscripts have new paragraphs at 1:13 and 1:18. Since these themes are referenced in the letter frame in connection with Paul’s gospel, it is clear that the letter body expounds the gospel that the letter frame introduces. have an advantage)?’ involves a meaning of the middle voice not attested anywhere else. Immediately noticeable is the emphasis by repetition that we observed in 1:8–15. To fulfill this mission, he travelled & rested for periods at one location on numerous occasions. Not only would this familiarize the Church of Rome with what he had to profess, but it would also distinguish him from the many self-proclaimed “guardians of faith”. [43] See Simon J. Gathercole, Where is Boasting? To understand the content of Paul’s letter to the Romans, it would be easier if it is broken down into parts for the reader’s comprehension. 11–12. Paul then ‘amplifies’63 this objection in v. 8 by mentioning another related one. Salvation, as is believed by many among the Christian masses, is the key to attaining Paradise as a reward for having lived life within this mortal world in submission & practice of the teachings & commandments of Jesus Christ. Third, on a few occasions Paul directly defends himself against misunderstanding or criticism. 2 of Justification and Variegated Nomism, ed. [66] Stuhlmacher, ‘Purpose of Romans’, 239. Why did Paul write Romans? And, third, the damage being caused to faith, hope, and love, had the potential to undermine the churches’ identity as distinctively Christian communities. Assuming the conflict exists within the individual church cells, the suggestion of Barclay (‘Faith and Self-Detachment’, 198) that to welcome one another meant, in practice, to welcome one another to communal meals, is highly plausible. Therefore, believing in the God of Israel is the only way to conquer God’s mercy & get his salvation so that life in the after world can be spent in peace & comfort. See Reidar Aasgaard, ‘My Beloved Brothers and Sisters!”: Christian Siblingship in Paul (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 270–71. Because Paul wrote Romans to a group with whom he had no established pastoral relationship, it has been suggested that he is writing so as to give the gentile-majority churches of Rome an apostolic foundation.24 This is unlikely, since implicit in Paul’s reasons for previously working in regions other than Rome (15:20–22), is that he thinks a suitable foundation has already been laid in Rome. At the end, Paul lays out details of where he plans to travel further, salutations and also personal greetings; a third of the greetings are aimed towards females. Just as Paul identifies himself in the closest possible way with his mission and message (1:1–5), so did his opponents. οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι πολλάκις προεθέμην ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἐκωλύθην ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο, ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν. [26] Verse 15 lacks a finite verb, and so it is not clear whether Paul is referring to his previous intention to preach the gospel in Rome, or his present plans.


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